Trijicon RMR vs. Holosun 507C – Mini Red Dot Madness
Pistol red dots have exploded in popularity in the last few years. These days it’s pretty much expected that a company’s latest handgun models will be optics-ready. That’s for good reason. Optics do a fantastic job of helping a shooter squeeze the most potential possible out of a handgun. Shooters who train with a red dot often find it easier to shoot faster, straighter, and further.
Today we are looking at the OG of pistol red dots, the Trijicon RMR, along with a new dog that’s nipping at the RMR’s heels, the Holosun 507C.
Both are micro red dots designed for compact and full-sized pistols. Both utilize an open emitter design. Both use replaceable batteries, and can attach directly to the slide of a handgun. Additionally, they can be used on any type of firearm, including rifles and shotguns. Trijicon and Holosun make several variants with different colored reticles as well.
The two red dots have a lot in common, so much so that Trijicon even sued Holosun, and the two parties have apparently settled the matter. However, they have a number of differences between the two worth noting.
Courtesy of GunMag Warehouse
Design, Size, and Footprint
Both use open emitter designs. This means these micro-optics use a single piece of glass sitting slightly forward of the emitter. The emitter shoots a beam onto the lens, and a specialized coating ensures that the beam is reflected on the lens for the optic.
Battery placement can be a critical component to utilizing a mini red dot. The Trijicon RMR uses a bottom-loaded battery, and the downside is that the optic needs to be removed from the weapon to swap batteries. Holosun uses a side-loading battery that allows the optic to remain in place when swapping batteries.
Size-wise they are too far apart. The RMR is slightly taller but thinner and shorter than the Holosun. The differences are minor. Trijicon’s RMR is a little lighter by factions of an ounce. If you want the smallest and lightest, then the Trijicon RMR is the way to go, at least for optics of this size.
Courtesy of T Rex Arms
Trijicon uses two big buttons, one on either side of the optic. This allows for quick and easy cycling through the various brightness levels. Holosun used to have two big buttons on one side, but it seems like the settlement between Trijicon and Holosun required them to shrink their buttons. The modern 507C has small buttons that control the optic.
The 507C also features a solar panel that acts as a backup power source. Trijicon has a dual illuminated reflex option that does the same.
Trijicon created the RMR footprint, which seems to be slowly becoming the industry standard. Holosun followed in their path and used the exact same footprint. It’s a solid footprint that prevents the optic from shifting under recoil and secures it extremely well.
Reticles and Brightness Levels
In terms of reticles, we have two very different optics that do very different things. The Trijicon RMR seemingly has dozens of variants with a ton of different reticle sizes and color variations. We get 1 MOA, 3.25 MOA, and 6.5 MOA dots, as well as an amber-colored triangle. Once you choose an optic with a reticle, you are stuck with that reticle.
With the Holosun, you get three reticles in one optic. This includes a 2 MOA dot, a 32 MOA circle, and a 32 MOA circle with a 2 MOA dot. It comes in red or green as well.
In terms of handgun mounting, I’d prefer a straight 3.25 or 6.5 MOA dot. It’s clean, clear, crisp, and easy to see. The Holosun 2 MOA dot is very small and typically the size of the dot you’d see on a rifle.
The 32 MOA circle and circle and dot combo is very nice for reflexive shooting and has a number of advantages. Shooters with astigmatism will likely have an easier time seeing the 32 MOA circle and dot design. However, it’s also a big dot that can obscure your target and cuts off some of the extra range a red dot offers.
On a shotgun, the 32 MOA circle rocks, or when used as a backup optic on a rifle with a magnified optic, it’s quite nice as well.
The RMR packs eight brightness settings, and the Holosun packs twelve total. Both offer enough power to use the optics in both bright and dim environments. Both have automatic brightness settings as well.
The good thing about being the OG of pistol red dots is that you’ve been proven. There likely isn’t a mini red dot optic that’s been as thoroughly tested as the Trijicon RMR Type 2. The RMR Type 2 is the choice of a number of police forces as well as SOCOM. It’s recoil and shockproof and can swim up to 66 feet underwater.
The Holosun 507C is recoil-proof and can resist up to a meter of water for about 30 minutes. In terms of lifespan, the 507C is also relatively young and new to the market. However, it’s proving to be a very capable option for shooters looking for an affordable alternative.
The Trijicon RMR varies a bit in price. Price variations can be due to accessories included as well as design features. The cheapest RMR seems to retail for about 400ish bucks, with the more expensive variances topping 550 dollars.
Holosun provides a much lower price point, with the optics costing about 300 dollars. The Holosun option is made in China, and the RMR is produced in the United States. This might be a concern, especially for warranty work.
The Trijicon RMR has proven to be the top contender in the mini red dot market but comes at a high price point. The Holosun 507C is a rock-solid little optic with tons of features and a low price, but still new and untested. It’s a tough decision, which would you pick?